Hey hey hey!
There are few people I’ve met who carry Nigeria’s matter on their head like Joshua Alade. I’m not even kidding.
I have a Nigerian flag hanging in my room and I’m very passionate about my country and its potential growth, but Joshua ehn…lol
I first met him at a clean up exercise at Makoko. (I doubt he remembers). He was with a friend from Unilag and I’m still friends with both of them today. This picture is embarrassing but I think it’s where my love for volunteerism started.
I often tease Joshua that he’s going to be Nigeria’s President someday and it’s not impossible. He calls himself the ‘Chief Evangelist’ of NextGen Africa but he’s actually the founder. What I admire most about him is his tenacity and ability to look beyond problems. I remember when his organization was really just starting and I’m amazed at the work they’ve done so far…
If you’ve ever heard of the ‘Dare to Dream’ annual conference for teenagers, then you know it’s organized by NextGen Africa and their amazing volunteers. Even while at Kogi for his NYSC, he didn’t sleep on NextGen Africa matter and did such a good work with the teenagers that he got the attention of the First Lady of the state.
I’m inspired by him really. He’s been able to look past his tough times and use every mess as a tool to help others. Also, I love that he can connect with people easily! Honestly, Joshua is also the President of the famzers club, but in a very good way that gets partners and sponsors for his organization and other projects he’s involved in.
I’ve been taught in Development Communications that people are the greatest resource but Josh practicalizes that for me. Every relationship is important and every friendship can turn into a partnership; never discard people like dirty rags because you might need them to help with/volunteer for/sponsor/fund your projects or organization.
I saw this tweet yesterday and thought of many young people like my friend, Joshua, who are doing amazing things in their own little way. They’re not waiting for change, they’re the change!
Before I forget, another thing I love is that he’s always willing to help other organizations doing things he’s passionate about. So, for him, it’s not just about NextGen Africa, but about how we can all get involved and help one another achieve greater goals and sustainability in development.
Mentorship is a big deal for him too and apart from his work with teenagers and public school students, he’s helping other social entrepreneurs gain access to mentors who can share what has and hasn’t worked for them.
Be like Joshua. Lol.
Do something about the things you don’t like in your community. Stop waiting for help because help will come once you decide to DO SOMETHING!
Don’t just see things as they are, see things as they can be.
I’m thinking of starting a segment on the blog where social workers and entrepreneurs can share why they do what they do. It might give a better perspective than when I share their stories.
Even I want to learn too…
Light and love,
(P.S- I tried to find a good picture of us but couldn’t find it. Haha. I’m sorry. At least, these ‘bad pictures’ show that we’re working. 😛)